This week the delegation of the Board of Trustees of the British branch of the Jewish national Fund – Keren Kayemet Le-Israel arrived in Israel Simon Isaacs, fourth Marquess of reading. His grandfather, Rufus Daniel Isaacs, first Marquis reading, a prominent British lawyer, politician, and Zionist activist, was at the forefront of Israeli power. In particular, from 1923 to 1935 he headed the Palestinian electric company, therefore his name bears power station in North tel Aviv. Lord Rufus Isaacs also contributed to updating and expanding the fleet of the Jewish Yishuv during the years of the British mandate.
The delegation of the Board of Trustees came to Israel to see projects, in which donations were collected last year, and at the same time to hold a special meeting for the selection of new projects for which the Department CCL-Britain will collect the donation next year. Funding for these projects amounts to 30 million shekels.
Among the projects, which collect money for the Jewish community in the UK, many projects in the Negev. For example, the construction of the amphitheatre in ofaqim, the centre for cancer patients in Beersheba, a program for opinion leaders in environmental issues in the environment of the Bedouin youth, the construction of a special school with a musical bias for gifted children in the border areas near Gaza, the construction of the center for children of preschool age in Yeruham, and many other projects. In just the past two years, the British branch of CCL has funded 132 different projects.
The delegation met the new Chairman of the JNF-KKL Dani Atar. He, in particular, said: «This is an important meeting, which will deepen the cooperation between us. Before JNF-KKL is facing today great challenges, and most importantly – a return to our Foundation of previous status and the previous relationship with the Jewish people and Israeli society. Together we will resist those who believes that after the establishment of the state of Israel has no more space for an organization like the JNF-KKL. We will defend its independence in the face of those who want to turn us into a government Department. CCL belongs to the entire Jewish people, and together we will go to achieve our goals and objectives, with emphasis on the development of the Galilee and the Negev. We have a common goal – the preservation of the Jewish people and the strengthening of the state of Israel».
The meeting was attended by the co-chair of the JNF-KKL Dr. Uzi Landau. Addressing the guests he said: «JNF-KKL is engaged in the peripheral support and development of Zionist education, promotes the development of ties between Jews in the Diaspora with Israel. In the current difficult times we all need to stand shoulder to shoulder to withstand the constant attacks of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel organizations who dispute our right to exist. Only together we will win».
In response to the audience performed Shmuel Hájek, Chairman of the British branch of the JNF-KKL. «We brought here from England by the love and concern of the Jewish community and many Christian organizations, against the state of Israel. And especially to the pioneers who elect the Negev desert as their home. In recent years, we continue to Fund a number of projects in the Negev. We have translated tens of millions of shekels for the benefit of residents of the South, children of the Negev, and IDF soldier. In the coming years we want to expand the collection of donations and increase funding of projects in the Negev, especially projects with a social background. And with great love for the state of Israel and its citizens».